Can Dogs Eat Cat Food?

If dogs and cats could eat the same food, this article would be redundant. We explain why cat food is not suitable for dogs and why it can be harmful to the dog’s health.

Cats and dogs have different nutritional needs. Because cats are predators, they have to eat a lot of meat. Your organism processes a lot of proteins. In contrast to wolves, dogs are considered omnivores and their body can only process less protein.

Because of this, cat food contains more protein than dog food. These include meat, fish, and a strong fragrance. Dogs can rarely resist this. In households with dogs and cats, the former is often interested in the kitty’s food.

If the dog eats cat food every now and then, this is not a tragedy. However, responsible dog owners pay attention to their dog’s health and proper nutrition.

Dietary Needs: Dog and Cat


Small dogs need around 185 to 370 calories a day. Large dogs should eat between 1,000 and 2,000 calories a day when they are young

and move a lot. Healthy cats only need 220 to 350 calories a day. The calorie requirement of a small dog is covered with a bowl of cat food, but not that of a larger dog.


Another deficit lies in the proteins. Dog food contains enough protein to meet the dog’s needs. Cat food, on the other hand, contains too much animal protein for a dog. Feed manufacturers allocate the amount of protein to the respective animal.

Too much animal protein in cat food can be harmful to a dog. If the dog has kidney disease or liver damage, it can have devastating effects on the health of its organs.


The ideal percentage of fat in a dog’s diet is between 9 and 15 percent of total calories. Fats are important for a healthy, non-dull coat, skin, muzzle, ears, and paws. Dogs always crave fatty foods, but like humans, too much can lead to obesity.

Cat food contains fatter than dog food because cats should get 30% of their calories from fats. Cats are more effective at converting fats into energy. They also use their fat reserves to absorb minerals. When dogs eat cat food, they gain weight quickly.


People love carbohydrates, but too many of them are harmful. The same goes for dogs. Cat food contains too much of it and should therefore not be fed to dogs.

As with fats, it can lead to obesity and other diseases. Dogs usually get their carbohydrates from the fats and proteins from a balanced diet.

In addition to these macronutrients, there are other differences between dog and cat food:

  • Dogs take in a lot of nutrients from amino acids.
  • Dogs can convert carotene to retinol to make vitamin A. Cats are incapable of this and must ingest direct sources of vitamin A.

Is Cat Food Bad For Dogs?

If you run out of dog food and only have cat food in the house, then that is safe as long as it is only an emergency. In the long term, however, the excessively high protein content in cat food is harmful to the dog. They can cause obesity or inflammation of the pancreas.

The dog may also vomit or develop diarrhea.

Make sure you always have the right food for your dog at home: dogs are fed dog food, cats are fed cat food. Make sure he’s getting all of the minerals and nutrients he needs to live a healthy and active life.

Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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